Being "back in training" again is challenging. I will share about it here, but unless asked, it won't be a frequent topic of discussion with others because I am far from being an expert or an amazing runner. After a few months of just running when it felt good, not caring about my pace or distance, and "sleeping in" (if 5:30 am counts as that), the summer months away from a race goal were enjoyable.
But as fall quickly approaches, I have picked new race goals for myself. Some say that I can never just rest. They might be right, but having goals helps me to push towards being better. Having goals is not a frustrating experience for me, it's liberating. The training, for me, I have learned, is not about the end result, even if I am pushing towards one whole-heartedly. The training is about what I learn on the journey. And this journey is no different, even if it's in its beginning stages.
This time around in my training, I am dedicating one day to the dreaded hill runs.
This time around I am going to eat cleaner.
This time around, I am not exactly certain as of yet what the end goal is, except that it's to come out a finisher, a better runner, but even more so, a better me.
I am not an Olympian.
I am not a world-record runner.
I am not one who may even ever win an age category.
But I will come out better.
Yesterday, my feet pounded loudly. My mind's thoughts were racing. The sweat trickled slowly down my back, and my heart beat pretty quickly, letting me know I was likely pushing myself a bit too hard.
But even so, as I did that, I felt my anxieties disappear, even if just for a brief few moments. I felt my confidence build as I pushed through those moments of wanting to walk, so quickly into the run. I let my thoughts flow freely, falling into a such a rhythm they really became louder than the music in my headphones. And little by little, my distance is increasing once again.
I have to fight off the negative thoughts like many do, but as I run, those thoughts are drowned out by the confidence that builds within my spirit. As I run, I know that in reality, I am my worst enemy, and if I fight back with God as my companion, I can overcome those weaknesses. As I run, the struggle of getting up at 4 am again becomes completely worth it. As I run, the negative juices exit and the positive me is rediscovered, ready to begin my day.
Anything worth fighting for (that's a bold statement, so perhaps I should word it that most things worth fighting for...) take a lot of work, determination, prayer, and dedication.
And I know that I am worth fighting for to become a better me. Every. Single. Day. One. Step. At. A. Time.
Long ago, I found this particular saying on Pinterest about defeating "her", only to end by saying that "her" is me.... I keep it posted at my desk, because I find much validity in the statement, be it in the running world, the corporate world, the woman's world, or the every day competitive environment inside my own head. The Old Me... I've lost to her before, but I will beat her this time around.
So, I am back in training. To run harder. To grow deeper. To be a better me.
One day at a time.